Urban Design and Planning, Environmental Health, and Data Science Tenure Track Assistant Professor

University of Washington
Seattle, Washington, US
Closing date
Oct 27, 2021

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Academic / Research
Informatics / GIS
Urban Design and Planning, Environmental Health, and Data Science Tenure Track Assistant Professor
The Departments of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS) and Urban Design and Planning (UDP) at the University of Washington, Seattle invite applications and nominations for a joint tenure-track position at the level of Assistant Professor, with expertise in data science. This position will have a primary appointment in the Department of Urban Design and Planning and a joint appointment in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. Located in the heart of the Seattle metropolitan region, the University of Washington is a highly ranked university known for its federally funded and interdisciplinary research. This position is supported by a University-wide Provost-level initiative to integrate the use of data science across non-STEM and STEM disciplines.

Advances in information technology are creating opportunities to address long-standing grand challenges at the intersection of public health and the built environment. Urban design, land use and infrastructure systems, such as transportation, water, energy, and waste, are implicated in complex ways with human activities, health and well-being, the nature of disease, historically-rooted inequities, and the impacts of a changing climate. Devices and flows of information commonly associated with smart cities are increasingly fortifying research at this intersection of human health, urban form, and the environment, with the empirical rigor and exploratory possibility of data science. The successful applicant will help expand UW's substantial expertise in these interrelated fields of research and data science.


This new faculty member will play a key role in elevating the research and teaching programs of UDP, DEOHS, and the Interdisciplinary Minor in Data Science at UW. The position has its basis in many years of ongoing research on public health and the built environment, the University-wide interdisciplinary PhD program in Urban Design and Planning, the concurrent Master of Public Health and Master of Urban Planning degree program, the UDP Urban Form Lab, and the new undergraduate minor in Data Science. The successful applicant will (a) contribute to the research, teaching, and service in these UDP and DEOHS programs, (b) assist in shaping the curriculum for the new Data Science undergraduate minor, (c) contribute to advancing progress on diversity, equity, and inclusivity goals of the schools and University.

About the Position

The successful applicant will receive a primary tenure track faculty appointment in Urban Design and Planning in the College of Built Environments, and a joint appointment in the Department of Environment and Occupational Health Sciences in the School of Public Health and will be a member of the Data Science minor program, at the UW Seattle Campus. The position is full time with a 9 month service period. The division of time among these programs will be determined in discussion between the successful applicant and the leaders of these programs.
  • As part of the top-ranked UW School of Public Health, the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences is a premier research and educational department. Research programs in the department include exposure assessment, environmental epidemiology, occupational health and safety, toxicology, microbiology, and environmental health practice-based participatory research. There is a rich history of collaborative research in the department and across the University. Educational programs at the undergraduate and graduate level train future leaders in environmental and occupational health.
  • The Department of Urban Design and Planning is one of five departments in the College of Built Environments. The Department maintains programs in urban planning, infrastructure planning and management, and community, environment and planning. Highly interdisciplinary, the masters program offers joint or concurrent degrees in public health, public administration, landscape architecture, civil and environmental engineering, real estate, and architecture. Research centers include the Urban Form Lab (https://sites.uw.edu/ufl/), known for research at the intersection of health and the built environment.
  • The UW Data Science minor (https://www.washington.edu/uaa/advising/single-pages/data-science-minor/) is a university-wide Provost-level initiative designed to help undergraduate students gain literacy and fluency in data science methods and understand their implications for society and the world. This minor serves students by enabling them to use and evaluate data science methods in their major domain of study. The Data Science minor is associated with the UW eScience Institute (https://escience.washington.edu/).

These departments lead interdisciplinary PhD programs and concurrent Master's degree programs. The concurrent Master of Public Health and Master of Urban Planning degree program (https://deohs.washington.edu/graduate-certificates-and-concurrent-degrees) trains students to work across multiple disciplines including the built environment and public health. The PhD in Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington (https://sites.uw.edu/urbdpphd/) is one of thirty-nine PhD programs in urban and regional planning in North America. Faculty affiliated with this interdisciplinary program are drawn from Urban Design and Planning and 20 other disciplines across the University, including Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences.

The University of Washington is one of the world's preeminent public universities in impact and funding, a testament to its culture of collaboration and the quality of its faculty, students, and staff. Since 1972, the UW has continued to receive more externally sponsored research funding than any other U.S. public university; grants and contracts to UW research totaled $1.58 billion in 2019. The UW is ranked 2nd among public universities and 10th overall in the U.S. News & World Report's Global University Rankings. It is 1st in rankings of the most innovative public universities and consistently sits among the top 5 among all universities in Reuter's world rankings. UW is 1st among public universities worldwide in National Taiwan University rankings for the quality and impact of its research.

This new position will be based on UW's main campus, located in the city of Seattle in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. The city and its surrounding area house a population of 3.5 million people and the headquarters of two of the nation's largest technology corporations: Amazon and Microsoft. Other corporate headquarters in the Seattle area include Starbucks, Costco, REI, Nordstrom, Paccar, Expedia, and Alaska Airlines. Known as the Emerald City, Seattle is nestled among the Olympic, Mount Rainier, and North Cascades National Parks, and the San Juan Islands of Puget Sound, giving the region a well-deserved reputation for its ecologically friendly culture, natural beauty, and opportunities for outdoor activities.

Position Requirements

The successful applicant will possess a PhD (or foreign equivalent) in a relevant field and demonstrated abilities conducting novel interdisciplinary research. US and International applicants are welcome to apply.

Positive factors for consideration

Positive factors for consideration include but are not limited to the following areas of data science expertise and skills in the context of environmental health sciences and urban planning:
  • Ability to create, manage, analyze, and communicate big, complex data
  • Ability to analyze geospatial and spatiotemporal data, including via statistical analysis and geovisualization methods
  • Ability to apply innovative analytical methods, including statistical and machine learning, visualization, and artificial intelligence
  • Ability to use reproducible research techniques and best practices, including open data, open source, and open science
  • Facility with theories and applications regarding data provenance, governance, and privacy
  • Facility with current or leading programming languages, geospatial applications, and statistics applications, such as R, ArcGIS, and Python

Teaching experience, particularly in technical courses with lecture and laboratory components, is also a positive factor for consideration.
Application Instructions
Priority will be given to applicants who submit the following materials by December 1, 2021. Applications received after this date may be considered at the discretion of the search committee.
  • Cover Letter that describes the applicant's suitability for this position and explains how the applicant's experiences, activities, and goals will lead to success in a cross-disciplinary position, including contributions to the Interdisciplinary Data Science Minor
  • Comprehensive Curriculum Vitae
  • Research Statement describing past and present projects and future directions
  • Three samples of scholarship such as publications, weblinks to online projects, and/or course syllabi
  • Statement of Teaching Philosophy
  • Diversity Statement describing experiences with and commitment to diversity in research, teaching, mentoring and/or service. Please include any experience in teaching or mentoring a diverse population of students.
  • Three references (contact information only, no formal letters)

  • Salary will be based on qualifications and experience. The expected start date for this position is the Fall Quarter of 2022 but timing is open to negotiation.

    The University of Washington is using Interfolio's Faculty Search to conduct this search. Applicants to this position receive a free Dossier account and should send all application materials to: http://apply.interfolio.com/94429 For assistance signing up for a Dossier account, accessing your account, or submitting your application, please review Interfolio's help and support section or contact via email help@interfolio.com or phone (877) 997-8807.

    Questions about this position may be directed to the Search Committee Co-Chairs Affiliate Professor Andrew Dannenberg (adannen@uw.edu) or Associate Professor Jan Whittington (janwhit@uw.edu).

    Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
    University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, genetic information, gender identity or expression, age, disability, or protected veteran status.

    Commitment to Diversity

    The University of Washington is committed to building diversity among its faculty, librarian, staff, and student communities, and articulates that commitment in the UW Diversity Blueprint (http://www.washington.edu/diversity/diversity-blueprint/). Additionally, the University's Faculty Code recognizes faculty efforts in research, teaching and/or service that address diversity and equal opportunity as important contributions to a faculty member's academic profile and responsibilities (https://www.washington.edu/admin/rules/policies/FCG/FCCH24.html#2432).

    COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements and Information

    Under Washington State Governor Inslee's Proclamation 21-14.1, University of Washington (UW) workers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof thereof, or receive a UW-approved medical or religious exemption. This requirement will be a condition of any offer associated with this recruitment. For more information, please visit https://www.washington.edu/coronavirus/vaccination-requirement/.
    The Chronicle of Higher Education. Keywords: Architecture - Assistant Professor, Location: Seattle, WA - 98105

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